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Over 40 Bodybuilder of the Week: Denise Whitney

Over 40 Bodybuilder of the Week: Denise Whitney! - Pics and info and more!

  • Name: Denise Whitney
  • E-mail:
  • Age: 44
  • Where: Kenmore, NY
  • Height: 5'8"
  • Weight: 138 lbs off 123 lbs contest
  • Years Bodybuilding :2
  • Favorite Bodypart: Back and Biceps
  • Favorite Exercise: Pullups and Seated Rows
  • Favorite Supplements: VPX Redline, VPX Meltdown

How Did You Get Started?

My best friend Jessica Stokes is married to a very well respected figure coach, Terry Stokes. I saw the amazing transformations of these women and after attending my first figure/bodybuilding show I was hooked and knew it was something I wanted to try. When my trainer at the time was unsupportive of my interest in competing (I was told I could never get lean enough to compete) I put myself in Terry's hands. At the age of 40, I wondered if I would be able to do this, but I trusted my trainer's opinion.

Denise Whitney
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Denise Whitney

What Workout Plan Worked Best For You?

When preparing for a show I do boot camp style resistance training using weights to get a cardio workout. This type of training preserves muscle and decreases body fat.

For example, I might repeat 5 cycles of 15 DB suicides + 20 DB floor rows + 20 one arm DB high pulls. I continue doing different circuits like this for 1 hour. I will also do 1 hour of cardio twice a day.

For cardio I like intervals, I will sprint for 1 minute followed by 2 minutes at a moderate pace. I will do this for about an hour to 45 minutes.

I find it very important to divide my workouts throughout the day (don't front load everything in the morning).

I like to go hardcore at every workout. 2 people can do the exact same workout and get completely different results. It's all about how much you put into these workouts. It's all about the intensity level.

I spend about an hour in the gym every day. Off season, I do very little to no cardio.

Day 1: Legs
Day 2: Back/Biceps
Day 3: Chest/Triceps
Day 4: Legs

Same as Monday

Day 5: Shoulders/Biceps/Abs
Day 6: Off

Day 7: Full Body Workout

Two sets of various exercises for all muscle groups

Denise Whitney
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Denise Whitney

What Nutrition Plan Has Worked Best For You?

I eat mostly chicken, lots of vegetables and complex carbs at most meals. My diet changes as my body changes. As my body gets leaner, so does my diet. Competitors who stop losing body fat are often following diets that don't change as they get closer to competition.

As I get closer to show day I drop things like the apples, bread, and some carbs, usually determined by my rate of weight loss. I find it very important to not skip meals, eat every 3 hours to keep my metabolism rolling, and to not eat my last meal too late in the evening.

A typical day is:

Meal 1:
Meal 2:
Meal 3:
Meal 4:
Meal 5:
Denise Whitney
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Denise Whitney

What Supplements Have Given You The Greatest Gains?

Before Morning Training:
Once Daily:
Twice Daily:
As Needed:
  • Monster Energy Drink: 1 can

Why do you love Bodybuilding?

I love seeing the results of hard work. I love watching the confidence grow in other competitors as they reach their goal. People from many walks of life compete in body building/figure and they do it for many different reasons.

Some do it to win - they are looking for a pro card and looking to advance in the sport. Others do it as a personal goal; they don't even care where they place, as long as they look like they belong on that stage.

I have made some very lasting friendships in this sport, for the most part I find fellow competitors to be very supportive of each other.

I feel bad because a lot of girls have little or no support from family or friends. I really respect the girls who struggle with this. To work so hard for something and not have someone there to say something positive can be devastating.

The fellow competitors I train with have been dubbed "The Stokes Crew". We make it a point to be friendly to other competitors and help them backstage, whether they need oil, a few posing tips or some hairspray because we realize that all competitors don't have the support that we have. We've lent figure suits to girls who needed them; sometimes we are on stage competing against our own suit!

What Motivates You To Follow A Healthy Lifestyle?

I love feeling healthy and strong. I also love the fact that I am setting a good example for my sons. One of the great motivators for me is proving people wrong. Tell me I can't get lean enough? Watch me!

Tell me I can't lose the baby weight to compete 9 months after having a baby? I won an overall trophy almost 9 months to the day of having my third child at the age of 42. I do very well when I have something to prove.

What Made You Want To Achieve Your Goals?

Honestly, a lot of negative reactions to me wanting to compete motivated me to prove them wrong.

Denise Whitney
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Denise Whitney

What Are Your Future Bodybuilding Plans?

I am planning on competing in figure in the fall of 2011; I am working to improve my weak points. (Legs and glutes). My fiancé and I have always alternated seasons, he competes in the spring, and I do the fall. We are going into uncharted territory and attempting to compete together, it should be interesting.

What One Tip Would You Give Other Bodybuilders?

Unless you are willing to give 100% don't bother. It is the hardest, most rewarding thing I have ever done in my life. It's hard, the diet sucks, it's all consuming, and if you are not dedicated it will show on stage. If it were easy....everyone would be doing it. Make sure you are willing to make sacrifices. My number one piece of advice: be very tight with the diet, diet is everything.

A lot of women look at figure competitors, they see the 5 inch heels, the pretty suits, the makeup and hair done perfect, the beautiful tan, and they think it's a glamorous sport. Please believe me it's not glamorous, I spend about 4 months running around in sweaty gym clothes, hair in a ponytail, and no makeup. We may be glamorous on the day of the show but don't let that fool you, a lot of hard work and intense training went into looking like that.

Who Are Your Favorite Bodybuilders?

Ava Cowan, Monica Brant, and Kai Greene.

What Features Do You Use On

I follow contest results, shopping, articles, tracking my progress on BodySpace, as well as inspiration stories by other athletes.